Unreliable narrator: memory, accuracy and function
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If the past is in the past then, why cannot we just let it go? The answer is simple. We are obsessed with our past and it is always running alongside us. Moreover, we are inclined to think that what we remember is true since it is the only resource providing us with the link to the past. In this thesis, I look at different approaches regarding memory and the importance of truth to consider whether memories are reasonably truthful or whether there are cases in which the reason why we make use of memory is more than representing truth. I argue that considering the variety and complexity of memory system, it is not plausible to argue for a single-acting theory which successfully embraces all different functions of memory. Viewed in this light, the notion of truth cannot handle many functions of memory whereas accuracy is a more suitable notion for the job. I consider functions of memory in everyday life instances where accuracy becomes highly variable in order to succeed in the intended functions. In conclusion, I argue that the reason why we make use of our memories is not because they are highly reliable sources about the past, but rather it has social functions where we need to rely on our memories as a tool to satisfy these functions.